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African Americans and Marriage Equality: Is this a race issue?

I am linking a few posts that ask very direct questions about the notion of Marriage Equality and the Black Church. Dennis Cauchon argues that Obama’s support for Marriage Equality is an issue for the Black Church, while Mychal Denzel Smith describes why it isn’t or shouldn’t be. These utterly different perspectives are intriguing to me in some regards, especially following news that the National Organization for Marriage has had a conscious agenda to exploit religious fervor within the African American community over this issue. I’m also linking a story abut Will Smith and his support for same-sex marriage. I post it wondering how much his views parallels those of many actual African Americans as well as many Americans overall.

Which side if any, is playing the race card and why? Or is this really just the “religion” card and not really the race card at all. If evangelicals or some other portion of the “religious” community can try and pin this on “the black church” then two minority groups can be pitted against one another, and the real conservative Christian community (i/e the Catholic Church?) can stay out of the frey.

At the heart of this, isn’t only the place of the religious community component within ther African American community- although that is one element of it. The other is the distinction between Marriage as a Civil Imnstitution where a marriage license is issued by the State, and a judge, or other officiant facilitates, and Marriage as a Religious Ritual or Rite of passage.

Photo by cybertoad